Improved CD4 lymphocyte outgrowth in response to effective antiretroviral therapy

Debra P. Merrill, Javier Martinez-Picado, Cécile Tremblay, Paul E. Sax, Stephen L. Boswell, Johnson T. Wong, Richard T. D'Aquila, Bruce D. Walker, Martin S. Hirsch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


CD4 lymphocyte regenerative capacity was evaluated by use of an ex vivo outgrowth assay in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected subjects enrolled in a clinical trial (Merck 039). CD4 lymphocytes were selectively expanded in vitro by T cell receptor triggering, which also induces HIV production from latently infected cells. CD4 cell expansion and lack of virus production in cultures correlated well with clinical responses and were best in those receiving an aggressive antiretroviral three-drug regimen. Twelve clinical responders receiving triple-drug therapy monitored for 60 weeks had both excellent ex vivo CD4 cell expansion and lack of HIV replication, often in the absence of added drug in culture. Breakthrough viruses recovered from drug-containing arms of the cultures showed phenotypic resistance to the drugs used in vivo. This CD4 lymphocyte outgrowth assay correlates well with clinical outcome in subjects receiving potent antiretroviral regimens and may predict the emergence of early drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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